Tuesday, August 5, 2008

boulevard arago

boulevard arago [2008]
oil and acrylic on canvas; 75 x 100 cm

known as a vespasienne, after the roman emperor VESPASIEN [9-79AD], who originated the brilliant idea of controlling and thereby squeeze-taxing urine dispersal through the installation of public urinals, this somewhat comical-looking descendant remains sadly the last existing 19th century monument to french piss in Paris...[the others having been eradicated due to overly popular usage for many-manly activities - ironically, this final unsavoury sample has been preserved outside the populous jailhouse La Santé on the boulevard Arago where guillotined heads had once rolled!]

[even though this particular model was commissioned a century before his time, there is an almost prouvesque elegance to the compact structure - especially since I have not emphasized the belle epoque flourishes in the metalwork - the overt functionality of the design can be seen as a prelude to modernist aspirations...]